All that's left for the San Antonio Spurs to do is celebrate. In defeating the Miami Heat in the 2014 NBA Finals, San Antonio left no room for doubt in avenging last year's seven-game championship series loss to Miami.
The exceptional five-game showcase deserves to be cherished, as the Spurs played some of the best team basketball in league history to seize the Larry O'Brien Trophy. On Wednesday at 6 p.m. local (central) time, the victory parade will begin in downtown San Antonio, according to a news release on the team's official website.
Arneson River Theater will foster the beginning of the parade route and wind up finishing at the Navarro Street Bridge. Then, the players and coaches will take to the Alamodome and meet with the Spurs faithful to discuss how they achieved the franchise's fifth NBA title.
Local affiliates will provide coverage of the Spurs' triumphant stroll that concludes in the Alamodome, where a ceremony will begin at 9 p.m. NBA.com will provide live stream coverage of the parade and the ceremony.
Built around legendary frontcourt star Tim Duncan, point guard Tony Parker and crafty veteran Manu Ginobili, this San Antonio squad boasts extraordinary, sustainable success.
But the Spurs have done an excellent job surrounding their veteran nucleus with a top-notch supporting cast. Credit goes to coach Gregg Popovich for developing that talent, along with general manager R.C. Buford for making the proper calls to bring it in.
ESPN's Dick Vitale went as far to say Popovich is the best coach in major sports today:
Spurs r the BEST PRO franchise over the last 15 years - key reason Coach Popovich=best in PRO SPORTS as a coach! http://t.co/4UulUcq7WF— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) June 16, 2014
"The City is proud of our Spurs," said Mayor Julian Castro, per the release. "This fifth championship cements the Spurs’ legacy as one of the greatest sports franchises in history."
It's hard to argue with Castro. While San Antonio's familiar trio contributed heavily to another championship, Kawhi Leonard, all of 22 years old, was the one who emerged with the Finals MVP award.
The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre noted what ESPN radio personality Colin Cowherd said regarding Leonard's potential to lead the Spurs moving forward:
Colin "Spurs in 5" Cowherd: "If I said 22-year old Kawhi Leonard or Carmelo, who would you take? You'd be out of your mind to take Melo."— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) June 16, 2014
Role players such as Patty Mills, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter and Boris Diaw stepped up, displaying the depth the Spurs have accrued over years of brilliant personnel moves. However, Popovich has been charged with making all the pieces of the puzzle fit, and he's been masterful in doing just that time and again.
When will the Spurs win their next NBA championship?
It seems as though San Antonio's window to win another title is closing. But based on how well Popovich has been able to preserve Duncan, Parker and Ginobili in the regular season and how hot the Spurs were in these Finals, there's reason to believe they can repeat as champions—something they've never done.
That would provide incentive for this squad to stick together and set out to enhance their legacies. In the modern era of pro basketball, where free-agent spending seems to be the best way to built a contender, a methodical approach and modest spending has seen the Spurs emerge from a smaller market and build the epitome of a team.
What San Antonio has is rare. Whether it can retain that greatness in the years to come remains to be seen. But based on the Spurs' track record, their winning culture should persist even after Duncan and Co. walk away.